Keeping Cats Out of the Christmas Tree

Cats seem to be drawn to Christmas trees, whether to play with the dangling ornaments or to climb up in the branches, they can be persistent. This is a guide about keeping cats out of the Christmas tree.
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14 found this helpful
December 5, 2012 Flag

I have been dealing with my year old kitty climbing into and knocking over my Christmas tree until I came up with this idea!

I blew up balloons and added them to the tree!


She jumped in and accidentally popped one causing her to jump off immediately!

It stopped her from jumping into it again, so now I can finish decorating it, but I think I will still leave some in the tree, just in case.

:D

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October 20, 2015 Flag

Put a small tree up for your cat, maybe 3 feet. It's really dependent on the room you have but remember cats want something to climb. Hang some low hanging ornaments from the bottom of his own kind (meaning safe cat toys) with a few filled with catnip. You may want to anchor the cat's tree to the wall or ceiling to prevent tipping over as you will expect the cat to be playing/climbing in it.

All the while, put aluminum foil around your own Christmas tree as if it were a tree skirt. Usually cats don't like the way it feels to walk on aluminum foil. Also cover the water dish (if it's a real tree), and cover the trunk of your tree. Continue to spray your tree and around your tree with repelling cat scents: citrus or diluted vinegar daily or place orange and lemon peels in tree. There are also cat repellents you can buy at the pet store. If lights have been added, use common sense with this, spraying around tree only and unplug power first.

Each time the cat goes to the tree, yell "NO!" firmly as you clap your hands then redirect him to his own tree. What cat could resist a tree of his own toys hanging?

As for presents, get some large boxes and Christmas cloth. Cover the boxes as you would wrap a present, leaving the fabric at the top loose. Put your wrapped presents down into these boxes, gather and tie with large ribbon. To add more, just untie, open, add the presents, gather again and retie until box is full, then go to your next box.

Hope this helps someone. Have a Merry Christmas!

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December 6, 2011 Flag

We have always had cats and they have a tendency to want to explore the Christmas tree. We got around that by using an abundance of bells on the lower limbs to serve as an early warning device. When we heard the bells we knew to pay close attention or deflect trouble before it happened.

By Shelly from Spring Hill, KS

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December 18, 2014 Flag

My cat doesn't like the smell of citrus. I take the tree shaped car deodorizer, orange scent, and hang them from the bottom branches.

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Questions

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December 7, 2010 Flag

We have a 2 year old cat we adopted on April of this year. This will be her first Christmas with us. How can we keep her from getting into the tree? I tried one suggestion where you put bells on the branches and the noise is suppose to scare her away. But this didn't work. Are there any other methods I can use to keep her off the tree?

By Linda from Brighton, MI

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December 7, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

My cats like bells. They're fun to knock down. :-) We just have to keep an eye on them, use unbreakable ornaments, and we unplug the lights unless we're right there. Two of our cats are just interested in the ornaments, but the youngest might try to climb it. And we keep a water spray bottle nearby (but don't use it if the lights are plugged in!).

I'm curious to see what advice others might offer.

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December 8, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

I have 3 cats. Two of them just sniff the tree, chew on the branches a little and end up sleeping under it. The 3rd one, however, is a totally different story. Lizzie is 3 years old and climbs the tree every chance she gets! Sometimes she flattens out a spot about 2/3 of the way up and sleeps there! I have no choice but to anchor the tree to the wall.

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December 9, 20101 found this helpful
Best Answer

They always get into the tree, don't they? My first little tuxedo girl was eager to bat at the fragile shiny balls and broke 3 right away. My big old tuxedo tomcat would sleep in the lower branches as a kitten. My old grey tomcat would tug the strings of beads all out of place. I gave up and put a smaller tree atop the big screen tv. Then I put a 5 foot tree in the window of a room they are disallowed from entering full of holiday and craft supplies. Then I tried a half a tree in the hall way. This works the best although it could use more branches on it! My need for a Christmas tree is fulfilled and the cats never can reach it on the door or wall.

Half trees seem like an odd idea, like an upside down tree, but it turns out nice, although I can't seem to get enough ornaments on it. Us humans are satisfied. Another idea is to make the cats their own tree with shiny plastic ornaments that looks like the real thing and no tinsel or icicles, bead strings ok! Also decorate with bright and colorful cat toys.

I will never give up on Christmas and cats will never give up going for the ornaments.

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December 8, 2006 Flag

Is there any product either homemade or store bought, that will keep pets away from the Christmas tree?

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December 1, 20070 found this helpful

What about dogs? I have two dogs and both got them in the summer and they have never seen a Christmas tree and how do I keep them away?

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December 15, 20080 found this helpful

How do you keep some energetic puppies who like to chew up furniture away from the Christmas tree?

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December 7, 20120 found this helpful

I still favor putting a few ballons in the tree. The kitten or cat pops just one ballon and he's guaranteed to stay away from the tree :)

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December 7, 2011 Flag

This is our first year having a cat at Christmas. I left the cat in the room when I was putting up the tree and she had done just fine. Now Butter likes to get under the tree and sit and she will eat the tinsel we have on the tree. I did not put more tinsel on the tree. It has the ones left from last year. How do I get her to not eat the tinsel?

By Jeanei B

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Anonymous Flag
December 7, 20110 found this helpful

I learned long ago that there is no way to stop a cat from eating items like tinsel and, as MantisMary pointed out, it can be a health hazzard. As dreary of a job as it will be please remove any remaining tinsel and just don't use it again. And don't think for one minute that you can have some tinsel towards the top because when you're not looking your baby just might crawl up there to get it ;-)

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December 7, 20110 found this helpful

Yes, don't use tinsel. Stuff is messy anyway.

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December 10, 20110 found this helpful

Years ago our cat ate tinsel off the Christmas tree & a few days later, died of lead poisoning. The vet said it was a painful death for our cat. I don't know if they make tinsel with lead in it anymore, but PLEASE don't let your pets eat it! Tinsel is long strings & it could get caught inside your pet, I would think. Get wrapped around things. Please, be cautious!

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November 27, 2005 Flag

I have a problem. This is my kitty's first Christmas and we're trying to put up the tree but she just won't leave it alone! We can't get her to stay away from the tree no matter what we do. I don't want to "not" have a tree but is there anything we can do? Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

cat and christmas tree

(I do like this picture, I'm glad I was able to capture it.)

Stacey from Orem, UT

Here is my solution. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions.

Solution to Kitty Problem with Tree

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December 1, 20100 found this helpful

Awesome! Thank you all for your suggestions. I sprayed apple cider vinegar around the tree and some of the lower branches. Darla and Toby hate it. Yay! Tree in tact and beautiful!

Thank you!

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December 7, 2010 Flag

How do I keep my cats away from the Christmas tree? The tree is fake. My kittens climb in the tree, chew the branches and go potty below. Is there something I can spray or a way I can teach them? Thanks in advance.

Heather from Swanton, VT

Answers:

Keeping Cats Out of the Christmas Tree

Oh my, that last post about the loud motion toy was funny!
I think this year, since we have two new kittens in the home which love to be up high, I will just let it all happen and keep my nice ornaments in the boxes in the closets, and go buy me a good used video/digital cam and make some money with the videos!
(12/11/2008)

By Dedeswrkshop

Keeping Cats Out of the Christmas Tree

I had my own Christmas tree lots for 10 years. People always came in with "can you solve this?" questions. This was a problem that was a lot of fun and more beautiful than you could ever dream. I would cut the bottom flat and attach a hook, hang it upside down, flock lightly and add a little color and bling, with decorations and lights just like out of a story book. I even hung one coming down the wrap around stairway. Just make sure you match the ceiling with the size of the tree, not too large. (12/11/2008)

By double d

Keeping Cats Out of the Christmas Tree

I have success using citronella oil sprayed or wiped around surfaces you want to keep kitty-free! They don't like the smell. I have heard eucalyptus oil and Vicks VapoRub are also good. You do need to reapply. My cats just love using our Christmas tree as a new ladder between upstairs and down! Sadly, most of our ornaments didn't survived the cats' first Christmas. We just have some simple tinsel now. (12/11/2008)

By Kevin

Keeping Cats Out of the Christmas Tree

I have 5 cats. Three ignore the tree. One got stuck in it last year during Christmas dinner and cried until I pulled him out! The kitten is fascinated.

This year, what I did was put the tree up and lights and left it alone for a full week. The naughty 2 have climbed it, sniffed it and now ignore it. So tomorrow I will put the ornaments on it.

Many years ago, a friend gave me a tip of putting Jean Nate oil, I guess it's bath oil, on cotton balls inside and around the tree. Cats hate the scent and stay away. It did work for me that year. You have to redo it every few days.

The orange peel would work too.

If kitties are using the area beneath the tree as a litter box (saw in another post) then spray the area with vinegar and water. It won't hurt them and they don't like the scent. You could pick up in a pet supply store some double sided tape and put under tree as well. It is also great for cats scratching furniture.

(12/12/2008)

By Dorina

Keeping Cats Out of the Christmas Tree

Some of those ideas sound like great ways to keep them away and I will be trying them. I put my tree in front of the window, and just as an extra measure of insurance, I have teacup hooks under each side of the window sill. I take jute twine and run it from one side, wrap completely around the trunk, and then tether to the other side. At least if it gets climbed, it won't come down! (12/14/2008)

By Beth

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April 2, 2010 Flag

I have a problem. This is my kitty's first Christmas and we're

trying to put up the tree, but she just won't leave it alone. We

can't get her to stay away from the tree no matter what we do. I

don't want to "not" have a tree, but is there anything we can do? Any

advice will be greatly appreciated.

I do like this picture, I'm glad I was able to capture it.

Stacey from Orem, UT

Here is my solution. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions.

alt="Solution to Kitty Problem with Tree" width="350"

height="627">

Answers:

Our Cat Won't Leave The Christmas Tree Alone

Depending how big your tree is we put ours in a playpen and that

solved everything. It is only an idea, otherwise spray water at her

everytime she goes near the tree. (11/27/2005)

By profile=thr594622">dtmiddle1

Our Cat Won't Leave The Christmas Tree Alone

I've used the playpen for the tree, but to keep the children from

getting to it. It might work for a small kitten, but one that big,

she'd probably just climb over it. I have a bunch of cats and use

unbreakable ornaments on the bottom of the tree because they

inevitably play with them. That saves a lot of broken ornaments. With

yours on the table, she might knock it over if she tries to climb it.

One thing you could try is to cover your table with foil down to

the ground. Cats hate foil and it might keep her down.

It's a problem, but she sure is cute.

Susan from ThriftyFun (11/27/2005)

By profile=ver1000140">ThriftyFun

Our Cat Won't Leave The Christmas Tree Alone

You might try spraying Bitter Apple (you can buy it at pet stores)

around the bottom. (11/27/2005)

By profile=thr796870">dse77

Our Cat Won't Leave The Christmas Tree Alone

Does your cat not like when you just put perfume on?
I use perfume on wires that my Pudd likes to chew, the smell stops

her before she even tastes it. (11/27/2005)

By Novice333

Our Cat Won't Leave The Christmas Tree Alone

Some cats hate the smell of hot peppers (like hot sauce or cayenne

pepper powder) or try mint (peppermint oil or toothpaste). Luckily,

our cat just wants to lay under the tree. I wish we could keep it up

year round just for her. (11/27/2005)

By profile=thr543723">thriftyboo

Our Cat Won't Leave The Christmas Tree Alone

To keep the tree from falling over, my DH cut a 4' plywood circle

which I place the tree skirt overtop of. The tree stand base has

spots for a nail to be screwed in at the end of each stand "arm".

This way, if you cannot be there to keep her out of the tree, at

least you can keep the tree from falling over.

My DH made the circle when we had a kitten and the real tree had a

stand filled with water. We placed the tree in the living room that

had a new carpet. The tree did not tip over and the carpet did not

get wet. The bottom ornaments did get batted around and did not

always remain by the tree, but the tree stayed put. (11/28/2005)

By profile=thr599612">valleyrimgirl

Our Cat Won't Leave The Christmas Tree Alone

I have the same problem with my new kitty and I guess I understand,

first Christmas and all. My hubby used orange peels in a flower pot

she wouldn't stay out of, so we used some at the base of the tree to.

So far everything is going well. (11/28/2005)

By profile=thr681454">motherearth12

Our Cat Won't Leave The Christmas Tree Alone

My mom uses Bounce dryer sheets around the base of the tree. Dryer

Sheets keep dogs, cats, and mice away from anything. They don't like

the smell. You should try that. Hope it helps. (11/28/2005)

By kvd2241

Our Cat Won't Leave The Christmas Tree Alone

The perfuming of the tree worked for my cat. He sneezed at first, but

it has been 3 days and I haven't seen him get into in since. Thank

you. (12/14/2005)

By Barbara

Our Cat Won't Leave The Christmas Tree Alone

I was having the same problem, it is the 14th of December and I have

yet to decorate my tree due to the kitten. I went to Petsmart and

purchased, Boundary Indoor/outdoor cat repellent by Lambert Kay. It

works wonders. (12/15/2005)

By Katie

Our Cat Won't Leave The Christmas Tree Alone

We have 3 very cool cats, Kurtis, Hemingway, and Harley. We love them

very much, but after we put up a very beautiful Christmas tree this

year, we were having the same problem. Hemingway, with Kurtis egging

him on dove into the tree more than once, broke the stand, knocked

off several of the branches and really almost destroyed the tree.

(fake tree)

I thought about this, searched on the internet, ended up here, and

I didn't really see anything that I wanted to try. I was in the

shower and it hit me. We have all this home automation stuff

(x10.com) so what I did was put the vacuum behind the tree, plugged

it into a module and set up the macro on the PC and downloaded it to

the interface. Now, when one of them gets within 3 feet of the tree

motion trips, fires up the vacuum and the cats go motoring down the

hallway. It stays on for 5 seconds and then shuts off. It took a

couple days for our kittys to adjust, but now they won't give the

tree the time of day. We can now enjoy our tree and have no worries

about them tearing it up again. Just thought we would share our

remedy on here.
(12/16/2005)

By Jason

Our Cat Won't Leave The Christmas Tree Alone

I don't think that crushed moth balls is a very safe idea for cats.

They have a very sensitive nervous system and this could be harmful

to them. Not to mention, that I don't like the smell of mothballs

either. (12/07/2006)

By profile=thr146642">Persnickety Paula

Our Cat Won't Leave The Christmas Tree Alone

Well this is one idea you can try. Last year I had 4 cats, one had

never seen a Christmas tree before and would not stay out of it. She

was climbing the tree and batting the balls all of the place. Finally

I had to try something. I went to drugstore and bought a jar of Vicks

salve and a bag of cotton balls. All you do is dip the cotton balls

in the Vicks salve and hang it from a Christmas tree hanger from the

lower limbs of your tree, in a hidden spot of course, that worked for

my cat. She would go by the tree look at and wince her eyes and walk

away. It was actually too funny. The tree is up this year without the

cotton balls and she hasn't even looked at it. Good luck, hope it

works for you. You do have go back and redip the cotton balls again.

(11/29/2007)

By Paula

Our Cat Won't Leave The Christmas Tree Alone

We have 3 cats, 8-year-olds Gizmo and Kuddles and 3-month-old

Mittens. My older kitties just want to sleep under the (fake) tree,

but my kitten insists on climbing and chewing the tree, lights, and

bulbs.

I like everyone's ideas of putting something on or around the

tress that smells bad to them, but I didn't want to spray the tree

itself or coat the wires with soap. So cut a hole in a small paper

plate and coated the inside edge with Icy Hot (Vicks wasn't strong

enough), then wrapped the paper plate around the post of the tree

just above the lowest row of branches. We have to coat the paper

plate every so often after the smell dies, but so far Mittens stays

away from the tree.

The downfall is now my older cats miss out on sleeping under the

tree because they hate the smell as well and my husband and I have to

deal with Icy Hot smell also. Maybe I'll try aromatherapy oils or

spray on the paper plate. At least my husband and I won't mind the

smell. (12/01/2007)

By Jennie

width="400" height="300" alt="RE: Our Cat Won't Leave The Christmas

Tree Alone">

Our Cat Won't Leave The Christmas Tree Alone

I did a search for how to keep my 5 month old kitten away from the

tree and I ended up here. The citrus perfume idea is genius. I

sprayed it on the tree skirt and the bottom half of the tree

including the ornaments and he hates it. He ran once really quickly

under the tree, but kept running out the other side. He'll sit a few

feet away with eyes squinted sniffing the tree, but he won't go near

it. I'm so happy. I've got a killer headache from the perfume, but

it's so worth it. I don't have to redecorate my tree every 30 seconds

now. Thank you. (12/02/2007)

By Catt

VICKS IS TOXIC TO CATS

To the people who are using Vicks as a cat repellent, DON'T. Vicks

Vapo Rub and other similar products such as Tiger Balm, etc. are not

safe for use on or around cats. Much like essential oils they contain

components that are toxic to cats. Menthol contains a toxin to cats

and Eucalyptus contain phenols. Some cats have a violent reaction to

Vicks and begin to foam at the mouth after contact. I have seen

people on the internet suggest using these products as "cat

deterrent" rubs around the home. Not only is this dangerous advice,

it is foolish as the smell of menthol actually attracts some cats,

regardless of it's dangers.
(01/27/2008)

By Cat Lover

Our Cat Won't Leave The Christmas Tree Alone

I used black pepper around the tree on the rug and it works.

(11/14/2008)

By stretchy

Our Cat Won't Leave The Christmas Tree Alone

I was having the same problem as you all. My cat was in heaven when

we put up our Christmas tree. She would climb the branches, knock the

ornaments off and chew the branches. Once my hubby found the

Christmas tree knocked over. I like most of you was getting really

frustrated and angry. Then I realized the other day, they are our

pets, it's what they were born to do, climb, play, and have fun. It's

what makes them so adorable to us.

However because I knew my Christmas tree was is serious danger of

survival, I came up with a plan after reading this site. I went to

the dollar store and purchased cranberry room spray. I took all the

decorations off my tree. Re-set the branches and sprayed the tree all

along middle of the tree, the base, and the bottom branches. I then

took my pine cones, put them in a small bin and sprinkled on cloves

and cinnamon. I let my cat have a sniff and thank goodness, she

didn't like it. She made a face and ran for it. I knew then I had

success.

I however took it one step further. I knew my cat loved to play

with the tree so I had decided to give her a tree of her own. I

purchased from the dollar store plenty of toy mice (2 for $1.00) and

gave her her own kitty cat Christmas tree. She will still from time

to time bite the branches of her tree and bat at the mice and even

thought it's only day 2, my tree is still untouched and standing in

one piece. (12/05/2008)

By Sherry

width="400" height="600" alt="RE: Our Cat Won't Leave The Christmas

Tree Alone">

Our Cat Won't Leave The Christmas Tree Alone

Here is Lloyd's kitty cat Christmas tree.

She loves it.
(12/05/2008)

By Sherry

width="400" height="600" alt="RE: Our Cat Won't Leave The Christmas

Tree Alone">

Our Cat Won't Leave The Christmas Tree Alone

There are sprays that are made especially for cats. We use "No

Scratch" by Pet Organics. We normally spray it lightly on the

couches, but it will deter the cats wherever it is sprayed. We just

sprayed this all over the (fake) tree and surrounding area. Hope it

works. (12/07/2008)

By Amber

Our Cat Won't Leave The Christmas Tree Alone

Just had an idea. Maybe wrap large boxes and then cover completely

with sticky tape. (12/09/2008)

By Amy

Our Cat Won't Leave The Christmas Tree Alone

Here is a picture of my third and final attempt at keeping our cats

(5) from destroying my wife's collection of mostly ceramic Peanuts

Gang ornaments. This slightly serious solution is working like a

charm so far except now "Peanut" seems to be depressed even though we

provided her, along with her mama and siblings, with their own tree

in another room. Go figure. The enclosure consists of six door

screens joined with 2 way hinges. (12/21/2008)

By profile=thr312989">Stikr

width="400" height="300" alt="RE: Our Cat Won't Leave The Christmas

Tree Alone">

Our Cat Won't Leave The Christmas Tree Alone

When I used to have cats I would put orange peels underneath the

tree apron. Cats hate citrus smells and it made them stay away.

Replace with new ones every week when the old ones dry out. I put

them in my plant pots, too. If you don't often have orange peels,

throw them in a baggy and put them in the freezer when you do, so you

can use them later. It works very well and makes the house smell good

too and its not harmful. (01/19/2009)

By profile=thr214772">melmarr

Our Cat Won't Leave The Christmas Tree Alone

Vinegar! We adopted a little girl kitten named Dexter over the summer

and as it is getting closer to Christmas I knew the tree was going to

be a challenge. So we put up the tree over the weekend and sure

enough she was incapable of leaving it alone. So I remembered a

garden trick someone told me was to spray vinegar on your garden to

keep stray cats out. It worked so I thought why not the tree.

I sprayed the tree skirt and the bottom of the tree with vinegar

and she refuses to get anywhere near the tree now. The good thing

about vinegar is the smell goes away after an hour or so, but the cat

can still smell it for weeks after. It's actually kind of funny

because now she sits about a foot away from the tree skirt looking at

the tree. Hope this helps. (11/29/2009)

By profile=thr783435">Rathadaque

width="400" height="300" alt="RE: Our Cat Won't Leave The Christmas

Tree Alone">

Our Cat Won't Leave The Christmas Tree Alone

I have a 9 month old kitty. He has no interest in climbing the tree,

but loves the ornaments and using them as toys. I called the vet and

they suggested Irish Spring soap, I have put a few bars underneath my

tree skirt and it seems to have worked. This along with not

decorating the bottom of the tree has seemed to disinterest him.

Good luck. (11/30/2009)

By profile=thr567849">mel_in_ns

width="400" height="300" alt="RE: Our Cat Won't Leave The Christmas

Tree Alone">

Our Cat Won't Leave The Christmas Tree Alone

I was also having problems with my cats staying out of my tree. I

read this site and tried the vinegar and water spray and so far it

has worked like a charm. (12/04/2009)

By profile=thr267843">TBirmingham

Our Cat Won't Leave The Christmas Tree Alone

Yesterday I found this site, and tried the lemon idea. Yesterday I

cut up some lemon and lime peels and put them under the tree skirt

and made little angels. I wrapped the peels in netting using the

lemon and lime peels for their head and placed them around on the

branches on the bottom on the tree. And I put one a little high because

they could get on the tree there by way of the window sill. It has

been working just fine. I'm not giving up on having a Xmas tree, yet.

By the way I have 2 kittens that are 9 months old Floyd and Baffle.

Well, Floyd is not to happy with me at this time because I took his

new toy away. He even let me know by meowing very loud at me. I love

my cats. (12/11/2009)

By profile=thr373465">ncamp

width="400" height="150" alt="RE: Our Cat Won't Leave The Christmas

Tree Alone">

Our Cat Won't Leave The Christmas Tree Alone

Our 10 week old kitten would not stay out of our Christmas tree. She

liked to climb half way up and lay in it. She does not like the

Flaming Hot Cheetos, so we decided to put some on hooks and hang

them from the bottom branches of the tree. Walla. It worked. She no

longer gets under the tree or tries to climb it. I never thought

Cheetos could have another use. (12/14/2009)

By profile=thr586666">grnppyeyes

width="400" height="320" alt="RE: Our Cat Won't Leave The Christmas

Tree Alone">

Our Cat Won't Leave The Christmas Tree Alone

I went to Bath and Body Works today to get some of the grapefruit

spray everyone is talking about on this post. Unfortunately I

discovered it is discontinued. However, White Citrus is available.

I bought it hoping it would work. My cat sniffed all the way around

the tree, looked at me like I ruined the best toy ever, and walked

away.
For the first time in four years our tree may be safe. (12/20/2009)

By profile=thr956879">Kieffer

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